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Medication and managing your kidney health

See why medication plays an important role in your kidney health and learn which over-the-counter drugs to avoid.

Medication basics

Be sure to take your medication on time and as prescribed. Missing doses could lead to health complications and even kidney failure. If you experience any unwanted side effects from your medications, bring them up with your doctor. Do not skip doses or go off the medication altogether.

Over-the-counter medications to avoid

The following medications are not safe for people with chronic kidney disease (CKD):

  • Aspirin (Bayer)
  • Naproxen (Aleve)
  • Ibuprofen (Advil)

These drugs, called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can harm your kidneys. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is a recommended pain medication for people living with CKD.1 Be sure to talk to your doctor before taking any newly prescribed medication or medication that wasn’t prescribed to you.


1The National Kidney Foundation. Watch Out for Your Kidneys When You Use Medicines for Pain; What analgesics are safe for people who have kidney disease? Available at: 2021. Accessed April 2, 2021.

This page contains references to brand-name prescription drugs that are trademarks or registered trademarks of pharmaceutical manufacturers not affiliated with CVS Health.

All content is the property of CVS Health®. The information provided is not a substitute for the medical diagnosis, treatment and/or instructions provided by health care providers.